Music Mentor Books
THE UK TOURS 1956-72
ISBN-13: 978-0-9519888-6-2 (ISBN: 0-9519888-6-7)
424 pages, 138 illustrations, 2003
Ian Wallis is a lifelong rock'n'roll enthusiast and has been writing about the music he loves for over 20 years. His first book, The Hawk, a biography of Ronnie Hawkins, was published in Canada in 1997. He is also joint promoter of the Rockers' Reunion Party held in Reading every January, and has had a hand in organising European tours for several American rock'n'rollers. There is no more fervent supporter of live music, and he has travelled countless thousands of miles in pursuit of 'the greatest music in the world'.
American Rock'n'Roll: The UK Tours 1956–72is the first serious attempt to chronicle every visit to the UK by American (and Canadian!) rock'n'roll artists, and includes full tour itineraries, support acts, show reports, TV appearances and a wealth of other information. The author's painstaking research is augmented with illustrations of dozens of original programmes, tickets, vintage ads and atmospheric live shots — many of them rare or previously unpublished — to provide a complete picture of this exciting and fascinating era.
"A huge amount of effort has been expended on this book... If you ever saw any rock'n'roll personality or group on stage within the period stated, details will be here. Even if you didn't, the author brings the shows to life with his informative comments and background information — it is far more than a mere listing of venues and artists. The book is well illustrated... and the cover features a great shot of a sweaty Gene Vincent in a typical pose. I predict this book will be an indispensable work of reference for rock'n'roll fans for years to come." Tales From The Woods (January 2004)
"A wonderful book... stunning stories of the Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis visits" Fire-Ball Mail (January 2004)
"Here's a real goodie from Music Mentor Books... Compiled and very well written by respected rock'n'roll journalist Ian Wallis, each tour is looked at in depth and it all makes for good reading. Not all the acts who toured may have been your fave rave of the time, but it's interesting to see who actually did come over." Crickets File (January 2004)
"This is a book that you'll be referring to over and over again." The Beat (January 2004)
"Such a neat idea, you wonder why no-one thought of this before... This is without doubt an indispensable book for anyone who was ever able to see any of the US legends live on stage in the UK." Twangsville (February 2004)
"Congratulations to Ian for putting together and producing a very well researched book" The Eddie Cochran Connection (February 2004)
"As a precious reminder of just how many American big beat stars have traversed the length and breadth of the British Isle to promote their music, this compendium of the rock'n'roll highway is an essential addition to any bookshelf. Congratulations to all concerned." Now Dig This (February 2004)
"A book about the tours of American rock’n’roll artists in England between 1956 and 1972? That didn’t sound too exciting to me — until I picked it up that is. After that, I couldn’t put it down... A super reference work." Rock'n'Roll Musikmagazin (February 2004) Translated from German
"I expected this to be reasonably interesting but basically a reference book rather than a good read. How wrong I was. For the first time in ages I read a book from cover to cover." Pipeline (February 2004)
"This is my kind of book - made for nuts who love to read lists and study discographies... It's just what the cover says, a pretty well complete listing of tour dates, with fascinating accompanying notes, of every US r&r artist to tour the UK between 1956 and 1972... and if that doesn't sound engaging, just do what I did and go straight to a tour you remember seeing, and check out whether it's the way you remember it. Ian Wallis has it pretty well nailed down... I enjoyed the book mainly because of the memories it did bring back - good and bad — of the great artists we were able to see in the 50s and 60s... It's great to be able to look these appearances up in the indices at the back of the book and then check the details. There's an index for venues, summary of visits listed by artist, an index of names, even an index of song and show titles. What a treat - I'm sick of books without a bloody index!" Blues & Rhythm (February 2004)
"An incredible book... Meticulously detailed and inclusive" Mojo (April 2004)
"A fascinating account... Recommended" Blue Suede News (Spring 2004)
"A book that does exactly what it says on the cover... a fascinating study of an otherwise undocumented aspect of rock'n'roll history... beyond doubt the definitive word on the subject." Classic American (April 2004)
"This is a vital reference book for all researchers into live rock'n'roll, and for those who saw them, and would like to know where and when. One to add to your reference library." Juke Blues (Spring 2004)
"American Rock'n'Roll: The UK Tours is the work of a consummate fan and authority, and adds a vital missing link to the already vast archives of rock and roll literature." Country Music People (July 2004)
"The book might easily have been something of a trainspotters' guide to who sang what and where in the UK during the gold and silver eras of rock'n'roll. It's not. It's a well-written, completely absorbing journey behind the scenes of the ups and downs of pop music and its performers as they ride ever-changing trends. Some of those that started on the highest note of all eventually hit the basement, and this study of live performances paints the clearest picture of their decline... The detail is wonderful. Even the events that didn't take place are illuminating. Tommy Sands backed out of his tour for fear of flying, Jerry Lee Lewis was hounded back home after three shows because he had scandalously just married his 13-year old cousin... This densely populated book of chronological information and anecdotes is a compulsive page-turner." Record Collector (November 2004)
"We have never met, but your wonderful book, American Rock'n'Roll: The UK Tours 1956-72 unlocked the door to so many great memories." From the Acknowledgments in Extreme, the biography of Sharon Osbourne (daughter of promoter Don Arden), published 2005.
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